During the difficult years of the nineteenth century South, an African American boy and his poor family rarely have enough to eat. Each night, the boy's father takes their dog, Sounder, out to look for food and the man grows more desperate by the day.
When food suddenly appears on the table one morning, it seems like a blessing. But the sheriff and his deputies are not far behind. The ever-loyal Sounder remains determined to help the family he loves as hard times bear down on them.
This classic novel shows the courage, love, and faith that bind an African American family together despite the racism and inhumanity they face. Readers who enjoy timeless dog stories such as Old Yeller and Where the Red Fern Grows will find much to love in Sounder.
William H. Armstrong grew up in Lexington, Virginia. He graduated from Hampden-Sydney College and did graduate work at the University of Virginia. He taught ancient history and study techniques at the Kent School for fifty-two years. Author of more than a dozen books for adults and children, he won the John Newbery Medal for Sounder in 1970 and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Hampden-Sydney College in 1986.
When his father sets out on a cattle drive toward Kansas for the summer, fourteen-year-old Travis Coates is left to take care of his family and their farm. Living in Texas Hill Country during the 1860s, Travis comes to face new, unanticipated, and often perilous responsibilities in the frontier wilderness.
A particular nuisance is a stray yellow dog that shows up one day and steals food from the family. But the big canine who Travis calls “Old Yeller” proves his worth by defending the family from danger. And Travis ultimately finds help and comfort in the courage and unwavering love of the dog who comes to be his very best friend.
Fred Gipson’s novel is an eloquently simple story that is both exciting and deeply moving. It stands alongside works like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Where The Red Fern Grows, and Shiloh as a beloved and enduring classic of literature. Originally published in 1956 to instant acclaim, Old Yeller later inspired a hit film from Walt Disney. Just as Old Yeller inevitably makes his way into the Coates family’s hearts, this book will find its own special place in readers’ hearts.